DeMeco Ryans' New Contract: What The Parties (And Others) Are Saying

First off, the specifics of the six-year, $48,000,000.00 deal:

Ryans gets $14.5 million this year. That includes a $7.5 million signing bonus and a $7 million base salary that's guaranteed against skill and injury.

In the first three years of his contract, he'll earn at least $26.3 million, which could increase to $26.9 million if he earns a $200,000 Pro Bowl bonus each season.

We'll get a separate post up comparing DeMeco's deal to those of similarly situated players. Here's a preview of the analysis: Rick Smith did a helluva job. More after the jump...

DeMeco's agent, Ben Dogra (who also happens to represent one Mario Williams, who will be due for a new deal of his own in short order):

"I think this is a huge move for the Texans to step up and get this deal done," said Dogra, who also represents defensive end Mario Williams. "This sends a strong message about the Texans' commitment to winning and their intentions of having their core players in place. They deserve a lot of credit."

Another reason you should buy Ben Dogra a drink if you ever run into him:

Last year, Ryans was going to miss the offseason program because he failed to get a contract he wanted. He switched agents and hired Dogra, who suggested Ryans report and to let him work with Smith to get a new deal done.
You know who should hire Ben Dogra? EVERY HOUSTON TEXAN. Or at least Owen Daniels. Speaking of OD, McClain reported the following about his situation:

Daniels is still two or three months from being 100 percent, but he was running with his teammates. He signed a waiver that allows him to be compensated in case he suffers another injury during the conditioning program.

"I did not sign my tender, but the Texans stepped up and put a document together that allowed me to come out and still rehab and be around the guys, so it's definitely an act of good faith on their part to protect themselves and me as well," Daniels said. "They definitely want me around here with the guys rehabbing.

"I'm about 4½ months out of surgery. Everything's going really, really smooth. My goal is to be able to do everything that I would do before by June 1, and we're right on pace to do that."

Daniels believes that once he shows the Texans he's 100 percent, negotiations for a long-term deal will heat up with agents Alan Herman and Dave Butz Jr.

"We've had some positive talks," Daniels said. "They've indicated they want to get something done. We just have to wait until I get healthy and see what happens. They've seen how I've progressed."

During last year's offseason program, Daniels wasn't happy because he didn't have a new deal. He's in a better frame of mind this year. He has no plans to sit out in protest as he did last year. He wants to participate in as much as the trainers will allow.

"I'll be here," he said. "It got a little messy last year, but we've both kind of come back together, cleared the air, and we're looking at it as a real positive situation, so I'll be around."

Nice to see that (1) OD realizes that the Texans are going to wait to get serious about any long-term deal until OD shows he's completely healthy and (2) Dunta Robinson's handling of his contract situation last summer will not be the model for Owen Daniels in 2010. Somehow, I believe Ben Dogra is responsible for this change in attitude. Honestly, I'd elect Dogra pope right now. Cue the white smoke.

And we close with DeMeco and Rick Smith's thoughts on the new contract. Management first:

"It (signing Ryans) speaks to the way we want to build our organization, and that's through the draft," general manager Rick Smith said. "You have to put in the work and give yourself a chance to have success on draft day. Once you do that, you have to lock those players up long term.

"That's something we're committed to. To me, it shows we're executing our plan."

"The thing about DeMeco that's important is that he did everything the right way," Smith said.

"He was a little upset last year, but he didn't let that deter him from showing up, playing effectively and being the kind of leader we need him to be for us to be successful," Smith said. "When you do those kinds of things, good things happen for you."

Amen, Rick. And finally, Captain 'Meco for the win:

"This is unbelievable," Ryans said. "I still can't believe it.

"I hope this can set an example for young players that hard work and patience can pay off."

"I want to thank Mr. (Bob) McNair and Rick Smith for believing in me," Ryans said. "They didn't have to do this. I want to thank my teammates, too. I'm so appreciative of everything.

"You know, with me being a restricted free agent and a possible lockout coming (2011), they didn't have to do this, but they really stepped up for me."

"Last year, I put everything behind me when we didn't get a deal done because I wanted to focus on football," Ryans said. "I thought I had my best season. All that hard work I put into it has definitely paid off."

Hard work and professionalism paying off? Who'd have thunk it?

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